Sep 27, 2012 12:04 UTC
Latest updates: JMATS & JMATS-II Support contracts.
MATS WST for
One of the most important components of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J medium transport planes never leaves the ground. The best equipment is useless if people aren’t trained to operate and maintain it, which is why the MATS (Maintenance and Aircrew Training System) set of trainers and simulators are so essential. When the Pentagon assesses “operational suitability” for an aircraft, a strong training structure is one of the things they look for.
MATS complements the existing ATS system for previous-generation C-130s, and provides a comprehensive range of training devices and training support services to aircrews. The USA’s JMATS contracts include aircrew instruction, operations, contractor logistics support and engineering services:
Continue Reading… »
Jul 23, 2012 17:28 UTC
Qatar is in the middle of overhauling its air force, with a competition for new fighters that has attracted interest from around the world. They’re also busy upgrading their pilot training, to serve with the newly established Air Force Academy in Qatar. In July 2012, Switzerland’s Pilatus Aircraft announced that the QEAF had joined in neighbors in the UAE and Saudi Arabia with an order for 24 of the firm’s high-end PC-21 turboprop trainers, a corresponding Training System, and “an extensive [and long term] logistics support and maintenance package.” The deal’s value wasn’t disclosed, and the exact details of the support agreement could make a big difference. As a point of comparison, however, the UAE’s deal for 25 PC-21s and associated items ran to $511 million in 2009.
The new QEAF academy will receive its 1st aircraft in mid-2014, with training expected to begin in mid-2015. Pilatus says that the PC-21 was picked after a competitive process, which included evaluation in Switzerland and in Qatar. Traditional competitors in the global turboprop trainer market include Pilatus’ own offerings like the PC-7 Mark II. They also include HawkerBeechcraft’s T-6C from the USA, Embraer’s EMB-314 Super Tucano from Brazil, and Korea Aerospace Industries’ KT-1 turboprop trainer, which has been exported to Turkey and Indonesia. The side-by-side German Grob 120TP is making its own bid to enter this field as a full elementary-to-advanced trainer, and Indonesia will use it for initial training duties.
Jul 22, 2012 20:14 UTC
The Israeli Air Force has known since December 2008 that its fleet of A-4 Skyhawk jet trainers and light attack aircraft would leave service. It took until July 2012 to sign a contract for the Skyhawk’s successor, despite justifiable complaints from South Korea that the process lacked full professional formality. The first M-346 Master trainers should begin arriving in Israel around mid-2014, where they will be operated by the IAI/Elbit “TOR” joint venture as a public-private partnership service to the IAF.
Italy’s M-346 eventually beat KAI’s supersonic T-50, thanks to a combination of air force evaluations, geo-political considerations, and countervailing industrial offers. For most countries, “industrial offsets” mean sub-contracting work in their country, sometimes even in sectors of their economy outside of the defense industry. Israel’s weapons industry is far more developed, however, and so their advanced trainer competition saw “industrial offsets” as the purchase of full-fledged Israeli weapons systems. South Korea was already a customer for Israeli radars, UAVs, and missiles, and was seen as the favorite thanks to their relationships and their jet. Italy was a much smaller customer, but relations between Silvio Berlusconi and the Jewish state had been good for a long time. By October 2011, reports surfaced that Italy had made Israel a very impressive offer – one that would make Italy a major export customer for strategic systems, even as it equalized purchases on both sides. In the end, it was an offer the Israelis couldn’t, and didn’t, refuse.
The deal’s components are as follows:
Continue Reading… »
Jan 19, 2012 17:00 UTC
In January 2012, Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics in Orlando, FL received a 5-year, $94 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to continue supporting the USAF’s Distributed Mission Operations Center. The mission of the 705th Combat Training Squadron DMOC is to to conduct exercises, training, tactics, techniques and procedures-warfighter readiness, testing, experimentation, tactical to operational-bridged events, and standards development for USAF Air Combat Command and its allies. Their efforts range all the way up to theater-level, full spectrum combat training, test, and mission rehearsal, including Air Combat Command’s Synthetic Battlespace inter-team training events; Air Expeditionary Force-aligned, quarterly recurring Virtual Flag exercises; etc.
Lockheed Martin will continue to operate the award-winning center, building and maintaining network infrastructure, developing and maintaining associated software and hardware, and conducting distributed mission operations engineering activities at Kirkland Air Force Base, NM. The contract runs until Jan 31/17, and is managed by the AFNWC/PKE at Kirkland AFB, NM (FA9422-12-D-0001).
Oct 24, 2011 18:11 UTC
Greek F-16 TS
In an age of expensive fighters, expensive fuel, limited flight time, and cheaper computing power, high-fidelity simulators have become an important component of pilot training. L-3 Link Simulation and Training in Arlington, TX is a global leader in this segment, with a very strong position in fighter plane simulators, and their associated Mission Training Centers. They’re often partnered with another major contractor in those efforts. Boeing is L-3′s partner for F-16 Mission Training Centers, for instance, even though the F-16 is a Lockheed Martin plane.
In October 2011, L-3 Link received a maximum $469.5 million firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursement contract to support 183 of their their F-16 TS (training system) installations around the world for the USAF (33 global locations, incl. Hill AFB, UT), and F-16 customers Bahrain, Greece, and Jordan. The contract doesn’t involve any simulators, but “support” means more than just simulator maintenance, training operations that include other devices, and keeping up the associated databases of simulated objects. It also involves change management to install simulator upgrades if requested, and keeping each simulator remains faithful to changes and upgrades in the real F-16 fleets. The USAF’s ASC/WNSK, at Wright Patterson AFB, OH, manages this contract for ther USAF, and acts as the agent for its Foreign Military Sale clients (FA8621-12-D-6337).
Oct 19, 2011 16:51 UTC
(click to view info.)
The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, GA is an outgrowth of the BRAC 2005 process, which consolidated the Army Armor Center and School with the Army Infantry Center and School. In October 2011, they issued a 5-year, maximum $458 million contract among 14 contractors.
Winners will bid on task orders to help the center produce training strategies, doctrine, capabilities, analysis, instruction and products for the current and future force. Per standard procedure, work location will be determined with each task order, during a contract period that will run until Sept 30/16. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 34 bids received by the Mission Contracting Office in Fort Bragg, NC. The 14 winners were:
Continue Reading… »
Sep 29, 2011 16:28 UTC
In late September 2011, SERE Solutions, Inc. in Spokane, WA received a $9.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) services. Work will be performed at Fairchild AFB, WA, and Lackland AFB, TX. The Air Education and Training Command CONS/LGCU at Randolph Air Force Base, TX, manages the contract (FA3002-06-D-0008, PO 0026). The contract number indicates that it has been going since FY 2006, but this is the first public DefenseLINK announcement.
SERE is no walk in the park. It’s designed to prepare more than 6,500 aircrew and “high risk of capture” DOD personnel to survive under any conditions. That includes arctic, desert, open ocean, jungle, mountain… and even captivity. Cdr. Frank “Spig” Wead describes his SERE experiences in detail, and its details explain why SERE became a news item in recent years: the use of “waterboarding” on all participating personnel. That same technique was used on a few senior al-Qaeda personnel, most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but Cdr. Wead’s take on it was not universally shared by those who endured it in SERE school.
Aug 31, 2011 18:19 UTC
Sniper event gear
At the end of August 2011, the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI issued a maximum $475 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity multiple-award-contract for the Army Targetry Systems program. Items bought include Stationary Infantry Targets, Stationary Armor Targets, Moving Infantry Targets, Moving Armor Targets, Sound Effect Simulators, plus associated computers and software to run the ranges used for soldier qualification. Work location will be determined with each task order, which will be open to competition among the winning firms. The contract will run until May 3/16, and all 5 bids received qualified. The winners were:
This is not the first such contract issued by the US Army, just the latest in a long series. Many of the winners remain the same.
Jul 10, 2011 16:26 UTC
RAAF Hawk Mk127s
In July 2011, the Australian government announced a 2-year, A$150 million (about $161 million) extension of the existing contract with BAE Systems Australia, to provide support for the RAAF’s Hawk 127 Lead-In-Fighter Trainers, plus accompanying full simulators (2) and computer training systems. The 33 Hawk Mk.127s are based at RAAF Williamtown near Newcastle in the SE, and RAAF Pearce near Perth in Western Australia. They provide the last stage of training before pilots graduate to Australia’s F/A-18A/B Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters.
As part of their Strategic Reform savings program, Australia’s DoD and BAE have arranged for more than 10% in savings over the extension’s life, via a revised maintenance strategy and overhaul program changes. BAE Systems Australia employs 180 people to support the aircraft, and has been providing that support since 2000. Australia DoD.